The National Gardens Scheme, founded in 1927, now gives in the region of £2.5m to nursing and caring charities every year and has an incredible choice of 3,800 gardens to visit. This weekend was their festival weekend, and although other commitments meant I wasn’t garden visiting this weekend, I thought I’d share photos three NGS visits I’ve made in the past week.
The first, above, was Mill Farm, in Bembridge, across Bembridge Harbour from where we live. It’s a large garden which wraps around the property and its informal, cottagey planting blends beautifully with the stone walls.
I’ve only visited Mill Farm once before, but one thing I’d remembered was an incredible array of aquilegias, and they certainly didn’t disappoint this year either.
And why Mill Farm? Well, they get to see this from their garden.
Nick works full time but also breeds day lilies (see his website here). Obviously it’s early for Hemerocallis, and whilst there were many waiting in the wings,
Nick’s garden is long and thin and has a wonderful jungly feel, created with, amongst other things, numerous grasses. I’ve been growing Carex from seed for my new Bronze Bed which I hope are as striking as these:
And the third one? An evening opening at the private garden for the Brothers of Charterhouse in central London. I persuaded a couple of work colleagues to join me and we had a very jolly time. Perhaps the free glass of wine had something to do with that!
The site was acquired in the middle of the fourteenth century as a burial ground for the victims of the Black Death but as not all the space was used, a Carthusian Monastery was also established.
In 1611 the mansion was sold to Thomas Sutton, who used much of his wealth to endow a charitable foundation to educate boys and care for elderly men, known as ‘Brothers.’ Charterhouse School was moved to Goldalming in 1872, but the brothers remain, and get to enjoy this glorious oasis, tucked between Barts Hospital and the rather brutalist Barbican.
So three very different and inspiring gardens in the space of three days, for a total of £11. What a fabulous organisation.